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09.12.2015 в 16:51:37 | Добавил: rayven | Просмотров: 1676 | 0 ответов
Вut performance comes with a price: roughly $400 in the case of GTX 670 cards, and $500 for GTX 680 cards. That's more than many people spend on their entire computer these days, and represents a significant expense for most people. Besides, the performance of these cards is so high that they're wasted on many single-monitor setups. And so the market waited for the rumored mid-range Kepler card, and now it's here in the form of the GTX 660. At an MSRP of $309.99, MSI's N660Ti Power Edition card comes in a mere $10 above the $299.99 MSRP of a reference-design GTX 660. But MSI's variant isn't a reference design, and packs in more for that extra $10 that you would think possible. msi_n660ti_pe_oblique2.jpg The N660Ti might be a mid-range card, but it's not a budget special: it's built on the same GK104 GPU as the GTX670 and GTX680, and has all of the features of its big brothers, including adaptive V-Sync and TXAA anti-aliasing. Add MSI's mil-spec components, advanced cooler, and enhanced power circuitry, and we might just be looking a the sweet spot of the Kepler lineup.


Closer Look: MSI N660Ti Power Edition


The brightly colored box of the N660Ti Power Edition calls out most of its features, although "OC Edition" probably doesn't mean much to most people. The "triple voltage" and "enhanced PWM design" give you some clue as to the special nature of the card. The top of the box is actually a Velcro-attached flap that opens to show a window into the box, highlighting the card, and also reveals lots of extra surface area for marketing talk.


Accesories comprise a user's guide, a manual, a DVI to VGA converter, a driver and utilities disk, and two Molex to 6-pin PCI-E power adapters. Missing in this early production board's accessories was an SLI bridge, but one will be included with retail boards.




MSI's venerable Twin Frozr cooler makes another appearance here. This version has four heat pipes and two 80mm fans. As with the N680GTX Lightning, the fans initially spin backwards at power-on to help dislodge any dust buildup. The very tall fan shroud partially blocks access to one of the SLI connectors on top of the card; previous cards using this design included an extra-long SLI bridge to work around this.




The top of the card is home to the standard two SLI connectors (with blue plastic protective covers in this image) and two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. Unlike the N680GTX Lightning, there is no switchable BIOS, and thus no BIOS switch.




The back of the card lacks the stabilizing and protective metal backplate its big brother sports. Oddly, two of the card's eight Hynix GDDR5 memory chips are mounted on the back, visible in this photo near the PCI-E connector at the bottom of the card.




Let's take a closer look at this card in the next section.



MSI N660Ti Power Edition Features


  • Unlocked digital power

    • Digital PWM controller and enhanced power design. 2X power output for maximum overclocking

    • 5-phase GPU power and 2-phase memory power


  • Extreme Thermal

    • Dust Removal Technology on Twin Frozr cooler keeps dust out for the best thermal condition

    • Form-in-one Heatsink cools GPU, memory, and power components and strengthens the structure


  • Military Class III Components

    • Meet MIL-STD-810G standard to ensure the best stability and quality

    • Adopt CopperMOS, Hi-c CAP, Super Ferrite chokes, and solid aluminum-core capacitors


  • Video Output: Dual-link DVI-D x 1, dual-link DVI-D x 1, DisplayPort x 1, HDMI x 1


MSI N660Ti Power Edition Specifications


  • Model Number: V284

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660Ti

  • CUDA Cores: 1344

  • Bus Standard: PCI-E 3.0 x16

  • Core Clock: 915 MHz (OC: 1019 MHz)

  • Boost Clock: 980 MHz (OC: 1097 MHz)

  • Memory Size: 2GB

  • Memory Type: GDDR5

  • Memory Bus: 192 bits

  • Memory clock: 6008Mhz (1502 x 4 )

  • Maximum resolution: 2560x1600

  • Dimensions: 265x113x38 mm

  • Video output: DVI-I x 1, DVI-D x 1, HDMI x 1, DisplayPort x 1


Interestingly, the raw specifications-- the number of CUDA cores, the base and boost clocks, and the amount of speed of the memory-- are all identical to the GTX 670. The only difference I see is the reduction in memory bus width from the 670's 256 bits to 192 bits. How much of a difference will this actually make? Let's find out...



VGA Testing Methodology


The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary OS for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista OS, so our test results apply to both versions of the operating system. All of the tests in this review were run with DX11 graphics.

According to the Steam hardware survey, as of December 2011 the most popular desktop resolution (for Steam users) is 1680x1050 pixels, with a 17.59% share, with 1920x1080 pixels coming in second with only 7.7%. I ran most tests at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (I continue to prefer the 16:10 ratio of 1920x1200 to the mysteriously more popular 1920x1080 resolution).

I used a combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

Overclocking: For each benchmark I've also included performance results from the card with the maximum overclock I was able to achieve. Details on overclocking follow the benchmarks.

DX11: Batman: Arkham City

If there was ever a game that showcased the growing gap between game consoles and high-end gaming PCs, Batman: Arkham City is it. In this dystopian near-future, part of Gotham City has been walled off as an enclave for criminals (rather like Escape from New York). It's a 3rd-person action game that adheres to story line previously set forth in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and is based on an updated Unreal Engine 3 game engine. Batman: Arkham City is a DirectX 11 title that uses multi-threaded rendering to produce life-like tessellation effects.

One annoyance with the game is that all game settings must be made through a hidden application called "BMLauncher". Once you've made your settings, though, an in-game benchmark provides the feedback you'll need to tune your system's performance.

    Batman: Arkham City

      8xAA, DirectX 11 features, high tessellation, extreme detail, Dynamic Shadows, Motion Blur, Distortion, Lens Flares, Light Shafts, Reflections, Ambient Occlusion, PhysX off





The AMD Radeon graphics cards are at a disadvantage here, since, like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City is a showcase of PhysX effects, which can be directly accelerated by NVIDIA cards but not by AMD cards. I left PhysX turned off for this test but if your Radeon-equipped rig is running an Intel 2500K or higher processor, consider turning it on: the PhysX will run on the CPU but modern multi-core CPUs have enough power to do a credible job, and you'll miss out on some really cool effects otherwise. With PhysX turned off, however, the Radeons run roughshod over the NVIDIA cards.


Again, the N660Ti is the slowest card here: even overclocked, it can't match the performance of the other cards. Also again, it still turns in more than playable frame rates at a cost per frame per second lower than any of the other cards.


Cost Analysis: Arkham City (1920x1080)


  • $389.99 XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition Double Dissipation costs $6.12 per FPS

  • $469.99 XFX Radeon 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation costs $5.97 per FPS

  • $399.99 GeForce GTX 670 costs $5.48 per FPS

  • $499.99 GeForce GTX 680 $6.76 per FPS

  • $309.99 MSRP MSI N660Ti Power Edition costs $5.08 per FPS.

  • $309.99 MSRP MSI N660Ti Power Edition overclocked costs $4.42 per FPS.


Test Summary: The XFX Radeon 7970 waltzes to a win here. The luster on AMD's Southern Islands GPUs dimmed somewhat when NVIDIA'sKepler-based cards were introduced, but enthusiasts should remember that these are very fast cards, and now have a $-per-FPS advantage in many cases...except for the N660Ti.

Graphics Card Radeon HD 7950 Radeon HD 7970 GeForce GTX670 GeForce GTX680 MSI N660Ti Power Edition
GPU Cores 1792 2048 1344 1536 1536
Core Clock (MHz) 900 925 915 (boost 980) 1006 (boost 1058) 1019 (boost 1097)
Memory Clock (MHz) 1375 1425 1502 1502 1502
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit

MSI N660Ti PE Temperatures

We're at the start of a transition: for years the PC industry has produced faster and more powerful CPUs and GPUs, which always came with ever-higher power draws. But as the industry moves to smaller and smaller fabrication processes, we're seeing power draws drop, and clever designs save even more power. Users benefit from GPUs that disable large portions of their circuitry when idle, leading to dramatically lower power draws and very cool idle temperatures. At the other end of the scale, reduced power at the higher end means smaller coolers, quieter fans, and less heat to worry about dissipating.

At the start of this test, I measure the idle temperature of the card with the card sitting at the Windows desktop, using the GPU-Z utility. Next, I start FurMark's stress test and let it run until the temperature curve flattens and the temperature has not varied more than 1 degree in the last five minutes. FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than applications of video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. FurMark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

MSI's Twin Frozr cooler may have a silly name, but it's very effective on the N660Ti Power Edition:


At 11 degrees Celsius over ambient temperature, the card runs pretty cool at idle. At 70 degrees under Furmark load, the load temperature is the same as we recorded for the MSI N680GTX Lightning and the reference design NVIDIA GTX670; this implies a ceiling that NVIDIA wants to keep aKepler GPU under. Amazingly, even under this load, the card's fans did not ramp up noticeably and overall the card was almost inaudible.


VGA Power Consumption

The new generation of video cards-- AMD's Southern Islands and NVIDIA's Kepler-- are certainly fast, but their new power saving features are almost as impressive. The move to a smaller process has helped, but both products benefit from a variety of power-saving techniques, including aggressively underclocking and undervolting themselves in low demand scenarios, as well as turning off unused portions of the card. Both companies also use other, proprietary methods to keep power usage low. To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen. Another power reading is taken when the display sleeps, and then I measure the power under a heavy gaming load. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark. 

Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (not system total) displayed in watts for each specified test product:

Situation Power Card delta
Windows login, no video card 52 watts --
Windows login, video card 61 watts 9 watts
Windows desktop 61 watts 9 watts
Windows desktop, display sleep 59 watts 7 watts
Gaming load 330 watts 148 watts
FurMark load 247 watts 195 watts

VGA Product Description


(sorted by combined total power)


Idle Power


Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

Kepler's not the power miser AMD's Southern Islands is; in particular, there's no provision for turning off the additional, non-primary video cards in a multi-card system. Still, nine watts when sitting at the Windows desktop is less than a third as much power as a Fermi-based GTX580 would use, and the loaded power draw is less than half. NVIDIA's said that "performance per watt" was one of their goals with the Kepler architecture, and it's obvious that they've succeeded.

MSI N660Ti PE Overclocking


Overclocking Kepler-based cards isn't the way it was in "the old days". With previous generations of GPUs, you overclocked simply by increasing the clock frequency (and perhaps power and voltage) until the card failed. Although some cards could "protect themselves" by throttling power draw and frequency at the high end, there was no unified strategy for managing top-tier performance.

All that changes with Kepler. Kepler GPUs will vary their clock speeds from "somnolent" to "insane" depending on a number of factors, and your overclocking settings are treated as requests rather than commands. NVIDIA uses both hardware and software constraints to achieve the maximum performance possible under a given set of parameters, taking into account power draw and temperature as well as (according to NVIDIA) "many other" factors-- and no, they don't want to talk about what those other factors are.

This means that when you see NVIDIA or other vendors talking about "boost clock", don't assume that this clock speed is what a Kepler-based card will run at under load. According to NVIDIA, the "boost clock" is the average frequency the GPU runs at under NVIDIA's test suite. MSI says the boost clock for the N660Ti Power Edition is "1097MHz", which means that they guarantee the card will average this speed under load. In some cases it may be faster. In some cases it may be slower.

NVIDIA's performance strategy means that identical Kepler-based cards from the same manufacturer are not guaranteed to have identical performance-- in fact they almost certainly won't. While they'll boost to at least the quoted boost clock under load, how much further they will go will vary from card to card.

With this in mind, I used MSI's own Afterburner 2.2.3 to increase the voltage and power draw to that maximum allowed for this card (+100mv and 114%, respectively), and then set out to achieve the highest GPU clock and memory clock offsets I could. This turned out to be 160Mhz and 470MHz, respectively.


In the benchmarks, this resulted in a maximum observed boost clock of 1,280MHz. Again, remember that this represents the maximum I saw, and is not necessarily the average clock speed across all of the benchmarks. Yes, it would be nice were there a utility that actually would record average GPU clock speeds on the fly.


This overclock propelled the N660Ti Power Edition into rarefied territory, enabling it to beat a reference design GTX680 in some tests. Below I summarize the performance increase overclocking yielded in each benchmark (in those that were run at multiple resolutions, I include results only from the highest resolution):

  Stock FPS Overclocked FPS Delta %
3DMark 11 GT1 40.2 43.8 +8.95
3DMark 11 GT2 38.9 42.8 +10.03
3DMark 11 GT3 50.4 57.3 +13.69
3DMark 11 GT4 25.0 28.0 +12.00
F1 2010 76.0 87.0 +14.47
Batman: Arkham City 61.0 70.0 +14.75
Alien vs. Predator 44.3 51.1 +15.35
Lost Planet 2 67.9 74.9 +10.31
Metro 2033 23.9 27.3 +14.23
Unigine Heaven 3.0 36.7 39.5 +7.63
Battlefield 3 57.0 64.5 +13.16
Average increased FPS with overclocking +12.23

So across this particular set of benchmarks the MSI N660Ti Power Edition is 3.92% faster than the XFX Radeon 7950 Black Edition Double Dissipation. While this number doesn't really mean anything in absolute terms-- note how the differences tend to be rather large (>20%) up or down depending on the benchmark-- it's still amazing that this card can credibly be said to be in roughly the same performance arena as the much more expensive 7950.

Interesting note: when using Afterburner 2.2.3 to overclock MSI's N680GTX Lightning, I found that I had to constantly watch the voltage offset, since the card would tend to move it down. I never saw that happen with the N660Ti.


GeForce GTX 660 Ti Final Thoughts

It is, seriously, a great time to be a PC gamer. While the console market struggles with six and seven year old hardware whose graphics performance would seem more suited to a modern tablet, the new crop of PC video cards brings staggering performance and thrifty power usage at increasingly low prices to the PC gamer. The price and performance war between AMD's Radeoncards and NVIDIA's GeForce cards has resulted in a $300 GPU that can run almost all modern games at 1080P resolution with all the in-game settings at maximum.

And although MSI's enhanced cards are typically expensive, you can have the N660Ti Power Edition, with its fancy cooler and adjustable voltages for GPU, memory, and PLL circuitry, for a mere $10 premium over the $299.99 price NVIDIA thinks most 660-based cards will sell for.

Two things impressed me about this card: one, it's very, very quiet, even under maximum load. While the fans were clearly audible when set at a fixed 60% or higher for the overclocking runs, at stock speeds with the fans control on "Auto" I couldn't get them to spin up audibly at all. Admittedly, this was on an open test bed, and it's probably going to be warmer inside your case...but your case will also muffle some of the noise that's produced. Let's just say I would be surprised were this card's fans ever audible. Second, the performance is simply amazing. The GK104 GPU of this card is identical to the one used in the GTX670, with the only difference being a 192-bit wide path to memory instead of a 256-bit wide path.


What this means is the lowest cost per FPS in virtually every one of these tests (the 7950 has a slight edge at stock clock speeds in two of the tests). Overclocked, it's no contest. And of course pure FPS isn't the only thing to keep in mind: as a Kepler-based card, the N660Ti benefits from NVIDIA's adaptive vSync and TXAA motion anti-aliasing features, both of which result in a smoother, visually superior gaming experience.

Unless you're running multiple screens or 3D systems, it's hard to see why anyone would need more video card than this.


MSI N660Ti PE Conclusion


IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

This card's standout performance was amazing. In some tests it's faster than cards that cost $100 to $200 more, and on a dollar-per-FPS basis there's really no comparison. NVIDIA's biggest problem with this card is that it will make even those who can easily afford a GTX670 wonder whether it's worth it to spend the extra money.

I find the blue and black color scheme of this card easier on the eyes than the yellow and black shroud of MSI's N680GTX Lightning. If you have an MSI motherboard, all the better, since you'll be color co-ordinated.

The construction quality of the card is very good, and it seems that vendors are finally learning how to apply thermal paste. My one complaint here is that the cooler plate only cools four of the eight GDDR5 memory chips.




Feature-wise, the N660Ti Power Edition has the same video goodness that's baked into any Kepler card: adaptive vSync, TXAA anti-aliasing, PhysX support, and more. MSI's dust-removing cooler and voltage control sweeten the deal.

The accessories bundle is basic but functional. My review card was missing the SLI bridge that will be included with retail cards, but everything else was there.

I'm used to high-performance video cards falling down at the value proposition. To get that last few FPS often requires that you pay a substantial premium. But the N660Ti provides exceptional performance, very close to that of the reference GTX670, for $90 less, and that's a huge win in anyone's book.

Overclocking unlocked some extra performance, but let's face it: you're probably not going to need it. Of all the games I tested, the card fell below 30FPS at the highest resolution only in Metro 2033 at stock settings. Two of these babies in SLI might provide performance superior to that of MSI's own $600 N680GTX Lightning for only $20 more, and that's something to think about.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Custom PCB with enhanced power circuitry

+ Best dollar-per-FPS performance I've ever seen from a single GPU

+ Auto dust removal feature keeps fans and cooling fins clean

+ Very quiet, even under heavy load

+ Can support 3 monitors in NV Surround, plus one additional monitor


- Only half of the memory chips covered by cooling plate

- Doesn't turn dross into gold


  • Performance: 9.75

  • Appearance: 8.00

  • Construction: 9.75

  • Functionality: 9.50

  • Value: 9.75

Final Score: 9.35 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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